How Nicotinamide Benefits Your Health
Vitamin B3 is an essential vitamin for the body; the problem is that many people experience a ‘flushing’ sensation when taking it. One of the nicotinamide benefits is that it is a form of B3 that does NOT cause this flush to develop.
Those who take their vitamin B3 supplement in the form of nicotinic acid sometimes experience the ‘niacin flush’: a characteristic hot, prickly, flushing sensation.
While nicotinamide helps you avoid this, it does come at a cost: it is a biologically active form of vitamin B3 but it is not associated with improved cardiovascular health and reduced cholesterol, unlike its counterpart, nicotinic acid.
There are, however, a range of other nicotinamide benefits that help to compensate for this.
Before we get into those, we need to find out a little more about what this substance is. The first thing to understand is that it is a water-soluble vitamin, not stored in the body, and therefore requires regular replenishment.
Without supplementing, humans are able to get nicotinamide in two ways: from food sources (like brewer’s yeast, poultry, offal, fish, mushrooms and whole grains) and from our own bodies: we can synthesize it from tryptophan, which is an amino acid that also converts to neurotransmitters like serotonin and melatonin.
We sometimes get asked if nicotinamide is connected to nicotine in any way. After all, the names sound very similar. There is a good reason for the connection.
At the same time as the vitamin was discovered, scientists were finding out more about nicotine from cigarettes. They discovered that nicotine shared a very similar chemical structure to nicotinamide - and caused major problems because of it.
Nicotine competes with nicotinamide for space on cell receptors, preventing nicotinamide from being absorbed and utilized properly by the body.
Smokers are therefore at particular risk of nicotinamide deficiency and may suffer a range of symptoms because of it. Just another reason to give up smoking!
What Are The Main Nicotinamide Benefits?
Now you know more about this vitamin and what it does, it’s time to look at the nicotinamide benefits for health and why it’s included in Athletic Greens.
→ Niacin powers your cells!
Like other B-vitamins, niacin (as nicotinamide) is a critical precursor to enzymes and coenzymes that turn food into energy.
Niacin becomes nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), an important coenzyme that keeps the cogs in your energy wheels spinning. Conditions associated with impaired cellular energy production - like Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and perhaps even chronic fatigue - may benefit from extra niacin.
→ It prevents and treats pellagra
Pellagra is a disease of extreme niacin deficiency, causing skin problems, diarrhea, and mental disturbances - and even death if left untreated.
→ It repairs damage to DNA
As already mentioned, nicotinamide is the precursor to coenzymes. These helps to actively repair DNA and prevent mutations, which may lead to diseases such as cancer.
→ It benefits the brain
Nicotinamide has been shown to reduce brain lesions in rats and has improved symptoms related to Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases.
→ It assists with a wide range of skin conditions
Nicotinamide has been shown to help with autoimmune skin diseases, ageing, atopic dermatitis, and acne - both topically as a cream and internally as a supplement.
→ It theoretically aids longevity!
Since niacin (as nicotinamide) is the precursor to enzymes that power cells, repair damage to DNA, and exert antioxidant functions, it theoretically promotes longevity!
Other Possible Nicotinamide Benefits
As well as the nicotinamide benefits described above, there are other possible benefits requiring more research. These include:
→ Treating arthritis
Preliminary evidence suggests that nicotinamide can help repair and regenerate cartilage in osteoarthritis, as well as reducing inflammation and improving painful symptoms associated with the condition.
→ Insulin sensitivity and diabetes
There is conflicting evidence about nicotinamide’s effect on insulin sensitivity. Some trials involving diabetic patients on medication showed that high-dose nicotinamide may decrease insulin sensitivity.
Other sources are in favor of using nicotinamide for blood glucose management.
This may be something to consider and discuss with your medical practitioner, if you are considering taking nicotinamide in high doses.
→ Supporting a healthy gut
Nicotinamide has been shown to benefit small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and candida albicans overgrowth. However, it should be pointed out that this may be due to the fact that these conditions deplete niacin levels.
It may also prevent stomach ulcers and generally reduce gut inflammation, according to another recent study.
→ May prevent skin cancer
A 2014 study found that nicotinamide showed promise in the prevention of skin cancer.
How To Safely Enjoy The Nicotinamide Benefits
Nicotinamide doses vary depending on the condition being treated. However, they usually range between 1-3 grams per day, in divided doses.
It is considered safe to use and produces minimal side effects, even in pregnancy.
However, in high doses, it may harm the liver. Always check with your healthcare provider if taking other medications with this supplement.
Why Supplement With Nicotinamide?
Nicotinamide may not share nicotinic acid’s fame for preventing heart disease; however, it does have a range of proven benefits itself that make it an important part of Athletic Greens.
Many people can benefit from supplementing with nicotinamide. Because it is best known for improving cellular energy production, people commonly use it to reduce fatigue and stress levels. When combined with other B vitamins and taken as a B-Complex supplement, it can be quite effective.
It is also popular with those looking to gain muscle, as some people claim it boosts insulin sensitivity (though this is by no means proven).
These common uses should not obscure its proven roles in treating pellagra and improving the health of the skin, both topically and internally. Additional benefits may include improving brain health, treating osteoarthritis, supporting a healthy gut, potentially promoting longevity, and even preventing some skin cancers.
Nicotinamide has been included in Athletic Greens because of this wide range of benefits for bodily functions and as an important B vitamin.
Being water soluble, it is safe even at high doses which makes it even more attractive as a supplement.
Within Athletic Greens, nicotinamide may work well alongside grapeseed extract for improving skin quality and recovering from skin issues. It may also work with the calcium, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, ginger and rosehip extract in our formula to fight against arthritis and arthritis symptoms.